Best Christmas Gifts for Mountain Bikers

We help the non-mountain bikers to find the best Christmas gifts for mountain bikers!

We have all been there – needing last minute gift ideas for those that take up some crazy extreme sport like mountain biking. Or, you are ahead of the times and are actually getting prepared early, but you are just not quite sure what to get the mountain biker in your life for Christmas.

We are here to help! With gifts of all sizes and price ranges, flick through and see if something fits the bill! AND.. we don’t assume the gift giver is a mountain biker themselves – so we explain what to look for!

Waterproof MTB Shorts
Josh looking out for Christmas present ideas…

Lets start with what practical gifts mountain bikers need. 

Things Mountain Bikers Need. 

A new bike

You will become their absolute favorite person if you turn up with a brand new, full-suspension, top-of-the-line bike. May I suggest a Yeti SB150, a Santa Cruz Megatower, or an Evil Wreckoning? Maybe a little out of the price range though?


Did you know a mountain bike helmet is recommended to be replaced every 2 years? Or after a single crash? See this post on when to replace your mountain bike helmet.

So a helmet is probably not a bad choice if you want to keep your rider safe and sound!

There are a heap of helmets on the market, so to make it easy, see our post here on how to choose a MTB helmet.

Met Parachute MCR Review
Josh wearing the Met Parachute MCR convertible (removable chin bar) helmet. Photo taken on Black Diamon Ridge, Nelson, New Zealand

Or, our best budget options here. Note that all helmets we recommend will offer brain protection (MIPS or SPIN or similar) and meet rigorous safety standards.

Or do they have a full-face mountain bike helmet? If they don’t, then it is worth considering a full face mtb helmet as it will offer more protection than a half shell helmet. See here for our top full face mountain bike helmets

New Gloves

A little more budget friendly would be a new set of gloves. You can get these in all colors and patterns if you want a more exciting gift on Christmas day!

The Best MTB Gloves
Plain black Fox Ranger Gloves. Photo taken from Codgers MTB Park, Nelson, NZ

See here for our guide to gloves.

Body Armour

Mountain bikers need armour! Knee pads, elbow pads, neck brace, back brace. So many to choose from. 

I would start with knee pads if they don’t have any. Go for some slim fitting pads with D3O. These are comfortable and protective and tend to suit most types of riding styles- from the casual weekend rider to gnarly enduro riders.

Leatt Airflex Pro Knee Pads
Knee pads are a pretty essential piece of kit that your rider may not own! Pictured are the Leatt Airflex Pro knee pads (Cable Bay, Nelson, New Zeaand).

We’d recommend the Leatt Airflex Pro or the Fox Enduro D3O Pro as a start, or have a a look at our ultimate selection of knee pads here.

We also have some info on elblow pads here.

Goggles and glasses

For those riding in the dust or the rain, the goggles are not a bad idea. 

Glasses that are specifically made for mountain biking can also be a good call. It reduces the amount of dust to the eye, protects the eyes from sun, rain, mud and flying debris. 

I wear phototec glasses, which alter the amount of light they let in depending on the surrounds. This makes them ideal for mountain biking where you might be out in the sunshine, then in the dense bush cover where the light changes significantly.

See here for some info on goggles.

A bum bag

A bum bag, fanny pack, waist pack – whatever you want to call it- has become all the rage in the mountain biking world in recent years. There is no better way to carry a bit of extra water, food, tools and a jacket without the sweatiness of a backpack.

Camelback Hip Pack
Pictured is the Camelbak Podoum flow with all my essentials for a longer ride out the back of the Nelson ranges (Black Diamond Ridge, Nelson, New Zealand).

Any bike shop will likely have one, but my favorite so far is the Camelbak Podium Flow (see the review here).

Bike storage/carry bags

If your rider enjoys a bit of bike packing or some overnight trips with the bike, some carry bags could be a good idea to get them out into the wilderness.

Wet Weather Riding
Bike packing can take you to some cool places – The Rameka, Takaka, New Zealand

We put the Blackburn Outpost Elite Bags to the test, which you can read about here.

Night riding lights

For those darker winter and spring months, you can extend your after work rides if you have night lights.

A bit of thought needs to go into what kind of lights your rider will want. Generally, you want a set to go on the handlebars and a set on the helmet (so you can see around corners and what is ahead). Generally, you want something with at least 1,500 lumens for each set.

You also want something that has decent battery life. A light that goes out half an hours ride from the car/home is not something you want! I’d say go with a trusted brand like Lezyne, MagicShine, or Blackburn.


A classic MTB top, shorts, rain jacket, or cap could be a good idea. We have the best MTB apparel brands here for you to browse.

Top tip: I’d suggest go for something that matches the color scheme of their bike!

See here for how to choose MTB shorts, including a few good selections, or here for the best women mtb shorts.

Go for socks if you want something a little cheaper (socks are still a very necessary part of the kit, and the gift receiver will be super appreciative!). Again, try to match the color scheme or go black if you are unsure!


For the rider that likes to do all the work on the bike themselves, a few tools could never go amis. Or for the person that is always caught out on the trails with some sort of issue, that could do with a few tools on hand!

Things they want

May I re-iterate, a new Bike?

Or if not a new bike, components to match the colour scheme so it looks like a new bike!

I would start with the handle bar grips. Match these to the more subtle color scheme on the bike, and voila- a far more exciting bike! And everyone needs new handlebar grips reasonably often!

Alternatively, and a bit more expensive, would be new pedals. You need to ensure your person rides in flats (rather than clips) for this. 

A trail dog!

Nothing better than having a buddy follow you around on the trails, and they won’t even complain about the uphills!

Disclaimer – the dog may end up being a big commitment for you if the dog ends up not liking running or bikes!

Shuttle or uplift passes at the local bike park

If you do have a local bike park that offers shuttles or chairlifts up the hill, this would be a great relief for your rider from pedalling up hills!

Or even better, offer them some uplift passes for a New Zealand trip. 

  • Rotorua offers shuttles up in Redwoods or chairlifts in Skyline
  • Nelson offers shuttles from Gravity Nelson, and The Gorge also provides shuttles
  • Christchurch Adventure Park has a chairlift to get in a scenic trip on the way up
  • Queenstown Skyline has another scenic chairlift

(Just to name a few!)

Mountain Biking Magazine or book

Singletrack Magazine - Issue 67
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A mountain biking scratchy map

Scatch of the places you have been – pretty much a visual bucket list! Also a great conversation starter – when people come round to our place, they can see what tracks have and haven’t been ridden yet!

The O’Brian Collective make scratchy maps, so you can indicate which parks or trails you have completed.

Or you could get a guide book or something similar! Just need to get the idea of bucket list riding into their heads!

Things they don’t really need, but they would still love!

A coffee mug

You could get your mountain bikers their new favorite mug! Try something funny, something quirky or something cute!

Mountain Biking Coffee Mug
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A tea towel with bikers

A nice decorative tea towel to remind them of something they love (rather than the dishes!)

This may mean they also help with the dishes a little more often!

Mammoth Lakes, California (100% Cotton Tea Towel)
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A biking calendar

Mountain Biking Calendar 2022/2023
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A biking poster

There are a series of posters below, so you could frame and piece them together to make a large wall of posters. It could solve your gift-giving for years to come (one per year + about 10 different pieces = 10 years of gift-giving!)

Hood River Oregon Forest Racer Illustration
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Art work made from old bike parts

You even attempt this yourself! There are heaps of ideas from old bicycle parts. You could attempt this photoframe from a bike chain if you can get the grease off!

Bicycle Chain Picture Frame
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Bike book stands

For the mountain biker who loves books too! Or.. could pair well with a book (see below).

Bicycle Book Ends
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A good book!

We’d recommend the Lonely Planet Epic Bike Rides of the World book for any bike lover! Cool pictures, and great rides to discover across the globe!

If you are in New Zealand, give Muirs Bookshop a call for great recommendations (the owner is a bit of a biker and has all the best books!).